A little more work

I had the opportunity to get into the shop for a few hours this afternoon. I finished laying out the dadoes for the shelving. It’s during this process I noticed a discrepancy in my layout. The bottom two draws are supposed to be 2″ deep, but the bottom draw will be 2 1/4″ deep. It doesn’t really matter and might make gaining access to the secret compartment easier. Still, too late now!

My plan calls for 1/4″ dadoes for the shelves to sit in. I mounted my 1/4″ router bit in my small hand held router, and set up the fence to make the dadoes. I slipped a little at once point and the router bit took a little chunk out of the panel. Thankfully it’s going to be on the inside so I don’t think I’ll need to do anything about it.

With the dadoes cut, I thought I’d just double check the width of the dadoes with my calipers. Lucky I did. The very cheap router bit set I’ve got aren’t exactly milled to the most accurate degree. Turns out my .25″ is closer to .235″ so it’s lucky I don’t need to actually route a dado exactly 1/4″ wide. Once the dadoes were cut, I put the 3/8″ rabbet in the back of the box to accept the back piece when the time comes.

I’ve dry fit the case to double check the fit and to see how it’s all coming together.

Andrew’s _IMG_0887 Andrew’s _IMG_0885 Andrew’s _IMG_0884 Andrew’s _IMG_0889 Andrew’s _IMG_0888

The wood panels I have aren’t quite wide enough to fill the dadoes all the way back, so once I’ve finished fitting the top and bottom I’ll need to shaved down the width of the shelves and shape some small pieces to fit in the back of the dadoes. Not a terrible solution as they won’t be seen and won’t affect the performance of the draws that’ll be resting on them and the 1/4″ shelves will more than strong enough to hold the weight of the drawers and their contents, especially once the dividers are installed.

Next I need to finish cleaning up the epoxy and scrape the insides of the panels to smooth them ready for finish. I also need to resaw some more 1/4″ stock for the remaining shelf and the dividers. Then I need to cut the dadoes in the shelves for the dividers and route the round overs for the fronts of the shelves.

Somehow the top and bottom aren’t quite square which is a little odd because the were cut in one pass on my mitre saw, so I need to square those edges up to make a nice tight fit. This might require building another tool – a shooting (or chuting depending on your heritage) board. I don’t think my hand plane sides are quite square and anyway it needs a lot more work before it’s going to be usable as a plane. It’s fine if the stock is thin, but much more than 1/2″ and it’s very hard to push though, let alone be used to smooth anything big and flat.

So I might end up building a sanding block system and see how that works out.


Winter is coming

No, nothing to do with Game of Thrones. Everything to do with temperatures barely reaching double figures in the morning. So it’s time to relocate the workshop to warmer climate. I’m very fortunate that I have a room at the back of my house which until recently was a dumping ground for anything and everything. That’s now clear so I can relocate my workbench and many of my tools into the house.

My table saw is way too big to move and would take up so much space in the 10′ by 10′ room. I don’t use my jointer enough to need it down in the winter shop. So these two will need to be winterized and left in my barn workshop. The tops of both the tools are cast iron, so they will need to be given a protective coating of paste wax, and some oil put on other moving parts to keep moisture out.

I will have to use them occasionally over winter so that will stop them from seizing. This will also be a bit of a test for me. Can I mark up the parts that need cutting, take them out to the other building and make the cuts? Or will I find that I can make all cuts with my miter saw and band saw? Obviously I’m going to resist going up there. Operating dangerous power tools in sub-zero temperatures is less than ideal. I’ve got a small pile of 12/4* red oak which needs jointing on at least two sides so I don’t have to do that during winter. If I can joint two faces flat and square, then I can use my bench top planer to finish the other two sides as and when I need to get them done.

I’ve currently got a large hutch in the room, so I’m probably going to dismantle that I think. I can re-use a lot of the materials and it will clear a 3′ by 6′ space for tools. There’s still a fair amount of junk in/on the hutch so that’ll need to be cleared off. I have a feeling procrastination will set in before that’s done though.

Once my wife’s birthday present is finished (sorry babe – I *know* it’s only 3 months late), then I can get on with putting up some shelves and moving tools.

* Rough lumber is measured out in 1/4″ widths, so 12/4 is approximately 3″. It’s hard to be more accurate that that for several reasons:

  • Rough lumber has a lot of saw marks, which you need to get rid of before you can start making things out of it.
  • Wood swells and shrinks significantly with the moisture content of the air around it. This can be by as much as 1/8″! (just over 3mm)
  • Wood will twist, bow, cup and otherwise distort out of shape. Typically this means when you start with a 4/4 piece, you’ll need to plane it down to 3/4″ to make it flat and square on 4 sides.